RENO, Nev. - A Nevada federal judge on Aug. 26 granted an insurer's motion for summary judgment on an insured's claim for tortious breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, leaving only the breach of contract claims to survive in a coverage dispute over an underlying Employee Retirement Income Security Act lawsuit (International Game Technology Inc. v. Federal Insurance Co., No. 13-00026, D. Nev.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118961).
PHILADELPHIA - A hospital worker who was told by her employer to continue her leave after her doctor cleared her to return to work may proceed with claims that her former employer interfered with her rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and retaliated against her for taking leave, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 27, partially vacating a trial court ruling in favor of the employer (Vanessa Budhun v. Reading Hospital and Medical Center, No. 11-4625, 3rd Cir.).
PORTLAND, Ore. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel issued two opinions on Aug. 27, finding that FedEx Ground Package System Inc. drivers were employees, not contractors, as a matter of law under Oregon and California law (Edward Slayman, et al. v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc., DBA FedEx Home Delivery, Inc., Nos. 12-35525 and 12-35559; Dean Alexander, et al. v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc., DBA FedEx Home Delivery, Nos. 12-17458 and 12-17509, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 16585).
LOS ANGELES - A former transportation supervisor failed to show that all employees with that title had the same duties and that a class action is the superior method to adjudicate the employees' wage-and-hour claims, a California federal judge ruled Aug. 22 (Curtis Hamilton, et al. v. Genesis Logistics, Inc., No. 13-1848, C.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117607).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Alabama employers owe a duty to prevent foreseeable injuries arising from take-home asbestos exposures, and the state would adopt the substantial factor causation standard, a federal judge held Aug. 26 (Melissa Ann Bobo and Sharon Jean Cox, as co-personal representatives of the estate of Barbara Bobo v. Tennessee Valley Authority, No. 12-1930, N.D. Ala.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117917).
NEW YORK - A Connecticut detective may proceed with his claims that denying his repeated requests to be assigned to a special unit that investigates homicides constituted race discrimination, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 26 in its second consideration of the appeal by the detective (Frederick M. Abrams v. Department of Public Safety, State of Connecticut, et al., No. 13-111, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 16490).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 25 upheld a trial court's ruling finding that Tyson Foods Inc. meat-processing workers are not owed wages for time spent donning and doffing equipment and clothing beyond the compensation the employer already provides to them (Maria Guyton, et al. v. Tyson Foods, Inc., doing business as Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc., No. 13-2036, 8th Cir.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16278).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - A split Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 25 affirmed a final judgment totaling $5,785,757.40 for a class of employees who sued Tyson Foods Inc., alleging that they were denied pay for overtime activities including donning and doffing before and after their shifts (Peg Bouaphakeo, et al. v. Tyson Foods, Inc., No. 12-3753, 8th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 16283).
BALTIMORE - Although a Maryland federal judge on Aug. 21 declined to permit an employment discrimination plaintiff to add disputed claims to his complaint, the judge agreed to narrow the scope of third-party subpoenas served on the plaintiff's subsequent employers and to grant a protective order to cover material unrelated to the present case (Unray Peters Sr. v. Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners, No. 1:13-cv-03114, D. Md.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116338).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Aug. 22 denied a health plan sponsor and insurer summary judgment on a breach of fiduciary claim in a health care denial of benefits dispute, saying a summary judgment motion was not the proper forum for deciding the issue (James E. Killian v. Concert Health Plan, et al., No. 07-4755, N.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116835).
MADISON, Wis. - The transfer of asbestos fibers from a workplace to a car or home does not negate the exclusivity provision of the Wisconsin Workers' Compensation Act, a federal judge held Aug. 22, granting dismissals in six cases (Milton Boyer and Kathy Boyer v. Weyerhaeuser Co., et al., No. 14-286, W.D. Wis.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117062).
SAN FRANCISCO - National cleaning products company Hillyard Inc. will pay $750,000 to settle class claims that it violated California labor laws and unfair competition law (UCL) by failing to reimburse sales representatives for work-related expenses in a deal that received preliminary approval from a federal magistrate judge on Aug. 22 on the third try (Lawrence Daniel Christensen, et al. v. Hillyard, Inc., No. 13-4389, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117499).
SAN FRANCISCO - An Air Force base security guard who was banned from carrying a weapon after a verbal altercation and then fired after referencing a shooting at another base failed to prove that he was the victim of discrimination, retaliation and a hostile work environment, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 20 (Nathaniel Hosea v. Michael B. Donley, Secretary of the US Air Force, No. 13-15138, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 16036).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 20 affirmed a trial court's rejection of a female employee's gender and pregnancy bias claims based on lack of proof and untimeliness (Aletha Weaver v. Basic Energy Services, L.P., et al., No. 14-50119, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 16052).
DENVER - The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 19 upheld a trial court's denial of a motion for judgment as a matter of law filed by Tyson Foods Inc. in a donning and doffing dispute and denied Tyson's request to reduce the nearly $3.4 million attorney fee award (Adelina Garcia, et al. v. Tyson Foods, Inc., et al., No. 12-3346, 10th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 15917).
ASHEVILLE, N.C. - A North Carolina federal judge on Aug. 19 determined that claims for breach of fiduciary duty and unjust enrichment against a disability insurer must be dismissed for failure to state a claim (Douglas Esposito v. Wal Mart Stores Inc., et al., No. 13-98, W.D. N.C.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115114).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 15 reinstated two claims by a former government worker who alleges that the denial of her request for substantial flexibility in her working hours - known as a "maxiflex" schedule - violated the Rehabilitation Act (Linda Solomon v. Thomas J. Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, No. 12-5123, D.C. Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 15671).
NEWARK, N.J. - In an unpublished opinion, a New Jersey federal judge on Aug. 15 remanded a health insurance breach of contract case to state court, holding that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act did not preempt the claims (Thomas R. Peterson, M.D., et al. v. Cigna Insurance Co., et al., No. 14-03818, D. N.J.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11349).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Aug. 15 dismissed claims against one health insurer in a reimbursement dispute and partially dismissed claims against another group of insurers, leaving two claims brought pursuant to the Employee Retirement Act and one state law claim for prompt-payment violations (MBody Minimally Invasive Surgery, et al. v. Empire Healthchoice HMO Inc., et al., No. 13-6551, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114012).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Aug. 14 narrowed the claims and definition of the class in a complaint filed by 11 current and former employees of a pharmaceutical company who allege gender discrimination (Megan Barrett, et al. v. Forest Laboratories, Inc., et al., No. 12-5224, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113289).
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Aug. 14 declined to remand a health care reimbursement suit to state court, finding that federal question jurisdiction existed pursuant to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, but also declined to dismiss the claims, saying it was unclear to what extent the claims involved ERISA plans (United Surgical Assistants LLC v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., No. 14-211, M. D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112816).
PORTLAND, Ore. - A police officer's attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) did not qualify as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a split Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 15 (Matthew Weaving v. City of Hillsboro, No. 12-35726, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 15762).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 15 reinstated a discrimination claim filed by a Louisiana school district employee who alleges that she was passed over for a promotion based on her race (Sandra A. Pace v. Livingston Parish School Board, No. 13-30919, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 15705).
DENVER - A damages expert proffered by three paramedics against their employer is sufficiently qualified to testify, a Colorado federal judge ruled Aug. 14, also holding that the expert's testimony would assist a jury in understanding the parties' disputes regarding wages and overtime pay (Karen Kinne, et al. v. Rocky Mountain EMS Inc., et al., No. 1:12-cv-02710, D. Colo.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112872).
ATLANTA - A dual-listed company is not suable under Florida laws, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 12, upholding the dismissal of a class complaint filed by seafarers seeking additional benefits following injuries at sea (Zolt Sabo, et al. v. Carnival Corporation, d.b.a. Carnival Corporation & PLC, et al., No. 13-11765, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 15398).